Ad war update, Gringo version


You thought the ads about Chávez were over? Think again.

Comments forum goes up in flames in 5, 4, 3…

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. It is obvious that Chavez wants Romney to win since he will be perceived as more antagonistic than the Obama figure. Chavez knows very well that by making such statements and meddling in their internal affairs, he makes Romney more appealing to the US electorate. Pure Rasputin stuff.

      • GOP is Chavez’s oxygen?

        LOL.I think you had better look twice, and there you might find Castro, Iran, Narco Traffic, China, Russia, and any ole rogue state who approves to be far more oxygenating .It is ultimately they who get such a kick out of anti Americanism.

        By the way,Chavez has been doing quite well at consolidating his grip under the Obama administration.

        Any president of the US has is sufficient for this purpose.

        • Not true, the rhetoric towards Bush was way more intense that the one towards Obama, by a lot. He even referred to Bush as the devil. Obama is very polarizing within the US but not globally, or not in Chavez’s audience.

          I don’t care if Chavez is or not is fuel for the GOP, what I don’t like is:
          1.- A US president that would fuel Chavez rhetoric.
          2.-Chavez mental game in US elections to actually play out. It is sad that Romney’s team is resorting to this.

          I think there isn’t a lot of difference between Romney and Obama as they are both very pragmatic. Most likely the attitude towards Chavez won’t change, but it is depressing that Chavez meddles in the US internal affairs and Romney’s just plays along.

          • RL

            Bottom line:

            Any US president would do just fine.Chavez does not need one or the other to fuel his regime.The proof is in the past.Chavez just consolidated his dictatorship.

            Whether or not the world flames against the GOP does not make or break Chavez.If any thing he has gotten worse….though I do not blame Obama for that…because it would have happened anyway.

            Not to see that I think is an error, in underestimating the power of Chavez and his connections.

          • agree, and the fact the Romney is using these tactics clearly shows he is not very optimistic about his chances in the election

    • I ask myself similar questions about the supporters of chavez and the supporters of the (current) republican party. Are they the beneficiaries of a corrupted system, the uneducated and manipulated, or a combination of both?

      Why is it so quiet around here?

      • Key thing to understanding the Republicans is that it is really made up of two substantial components. The first is the moderate, educated managerial class. They are simply for a strong military and fiscal realism (i.e., managing bureaucratic growth and having sustainable entitlements) combined with a relatively pro-business environment and moderate social problems. The problem arises with the the other half, which tends to be less educated bible-thumpers who are highly visceral in their emotional reactions and take the better parts of the first group to extremes and is vastly more vocal. The two parts cannot agree and thus you end up with their candidate being all over the map since he originated in the first group but needs the support of the second lest they abstain.

        Sadly, a candidate from the first group that maintained those values would probably beat anything the Democrats offered up and might be what the EEUU direly needs, but it would be impossible to do so with the Tea Party extreme right.

        So the answer to your question, based on my practical experience, is that the Repubs founder somewhere between rationalism and ignorance…in a country with only 30% of the population having college degrees, you can guess which of the two has an advantage.

        That said, I think neither segment of the GOP is truly responsible for this ad. The fact that it ties Chavez, Castro, Che and all the intertwined leftist focus makes me think its origins are far, far more local. The only people who much care about what Chavez says, let alone anything from the Castros (particularly a relatively innocuous sister), outside of Florida are political haymakers and ex-pats looking for soundbites to further their agendas. To be brutally honest, most Tea-Partiers couldn’t find Venezuela or Cuba on a map…I say this living in state that is mindnumbingly filled with them and whose eyes glaze over when mentally trying to place where my wife is from. (Which is also why Msrs. Toro and Nagel struggle to explain to gringos just how chaotic Venezuela has become or why the 7-O elections held such significance).

        All digressions aside, the ad smacks of local Romney campaign/Repub party (which is heavily loaded by Cuban/Venezuelan ex-pats) amping up the rhetoric to appeal, at least in their minds, to the remaining independents in the Latin communities in FL. I was rather reminded of an op/ed piece I saw sometime ago by Diego Arrias in the Miami Herald, if I recall correctly. The extreme right is a bit more muted in Florida than, say, Oklahoma or Arizona, but they do tend to latch on to any sort of snipet that might generate an emotional response and parrot it incessantly and they do influence the choices thereby to some extent. I’m prone to believing this highly targeted ad is not so much for all Latin voters, but those in Florida. To paraphrase an old Kix cereal commerical, “Locally tested, Mitt Romney approved.”

        One last note: I find it curious that the Repubs I come into contact with from Florida, moderate or otherwise, with Cuban roots (or Cubazuelan given the last decade’s influx, if you prefer) are more concerned about the possible end to the embargo than anything else, which I find extremely odd given that some of them weren’t even born when it was initiated. In a state with ~1 million Cuban-Americans, of which 47% voted for Obama last time, this could be a heavy-handed push in a swing-state where a few hundred thousand votes might make a difference.

        Associating together all things that are viewed as bad by the largest minority group in the state with a political candidate who has an inherent appeal to them? In this context, the ad makes complete sense to me.

  2. This is just plain manipulation of facts! That is why I turn off the volume of the TV when a political add is played…it does not matter who the add is front….and yes I am not pro-Chavez but I will vote for OBAMA!

  3. Timing is perfect on the flame-up with hot buzzwords: Chávez, Castro and Ché, plus two Chávez-Obama love-ins.
    The ad gives undecided Cuban-American voters 3 days to mull things over before 4N.
    In the event of a Romney win, expect the Russians to be rubbing their hands with joy, as Chávez justifies more purchases of Sukhois et al.

  4. The Romney campaign is willing to go as low as possible. Today I couldn’t believe when I saw that in Ohio they are showing ads claiming that the automakers are moving operationes to China and the companies had to go out and basically call Romney a liar (
    But this is a new low. I think it will not be enough. Obama still holds the edge among Latinos and in some places that vote will be critical, like Nevada. But this shows that Romney is dealing in a lot of fronts with the results of doing anything to appease the Tea Party.
    Right now if you are a Latino in the US you have to know that platform of the republicans is to say that they don’t like that you are here and in the back allowing companies to hire hard worker illegal inmigrants that are paid less than minimum wage. If you are a woman you know that they want men to make the choices of what happens in your body and they will not raise a finger to fight for gender equality. If you are gay you know that they will gladly see you go to hell for all eternity. If you are black that is time to forget about race and just acept that whites have more money and more opportunities than you and just deal with it. That still so many people will vote for someone like Romney blows my mind, but again, I don’t understand how more than half of my country votes for Chavez, so I guess I am the one with the problem.

      • The thing is, by international standards, there is no left wing party in the United States. What republican gringos call socialists or “reds” are, at best, liberals, in any other country on earth.

        • Forget about labels. This is the party of Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore et caterva we’re talking about. They’ve never met a dictator they don’t love. If people want to keep supporting Obama just out of “coolness” -the guy cannot win on his record- that’s another story.

  5. Since I’m unable to comment on Daniel’s bolg anymore, I thought I’d jump over here for a thought or two….

    So Castro’s daughter sees more hope for an America run by Obama rather than Romney. OK. After the sterling success that is the Cuban economy today (er, what’s it been now? 53 years?), I gather Mariel can now offer some valuable pointers as to what works in socialist economics, and what doesn’t. Right. She’s obviously an expert. But, but, has anyone contemplated the similarity of appeal to voters for both Chavez and Obama? It’s quite simple. Vote for ‘me’ and get something valuable in return. Over 2.5 million Mision Vivienda voters were literally swept to the polling booths in government trucks and whatever to supposedly keep them on the list for a ‘free’ home to live in. They knew what was at stake. That’s what they were told. And, heaven help those who ‘secretly’ voted against Chavez because they knew, and were told (!) repeatedly, that those fingerprints at the polling station could quickly knock them off the list. They paid attention to that. That’s why Capriles lost. (period) Obama voters get something valuable in return as well. If 47% of all Americans receive some kind of government assistance, why would anyone in their right mind ‘risk’ getting knocked off the government list? Vote Obama! Just like Greece, governments around the world are patterned after political parties who promise something tangible to their voters. In Venezuela its a house. In Germany its free education for the young. In France its the employment of a massive bureaucracy. In the US its 47 million people on food stamps. When, not if, financial systems around the world begin to collapse like dominos, an understanding of what actually happened is important. Governments have simply run out of promises, …and money. Just ask anyone living in Greece.

    On another blog I saw that someone had posted a great passage on what Plato wrote about democracy nearly 2,500 years ago. He got it right. In essence he noted that ‘citizens’ voting for their own financial self interest will eventually destroy a democracy. Plato knew all about Hugo Chavez, even though they never met.

    • Yeah I always laugh my ass off when someone is saying that he/she would not vote for Chavez but he/she will vote for Obama!

      I will bet 1000$ that in a parallel universe they would not vote for Obama, being Obama the president of a third world country.

      • Let me understand. So if you do not vote Obama you are automatically excluded from your benefits? Wow, I did not know that

        • Of course not ‘Faustus not the doctor’. In modern day politics it is always about the sweet, false promise and the fearful false threats.

          One must not take it on face value but vote one’s conscience.In my case it would be for the person I deem the least powerful to be able to screw everything up the most, which this year was a write- in candidate.

  6. Make no mistake. Chavez says he would vote for Obama but in reality he actually wants Romney to win. A Romney win offers Chavez the opportunity to revive that rowdy anti-empire rhetoric that drives crazy so many idiot leftists throughout Latin America (by idiot I mostly — but not exclusively — refer to the meaning proposed by Montaner, Vargas Llosa and Apuleyo-Mendoza).

    Having said that, whoever in the EPA made the decision to put a che guevara picture in the Hispanic heritage email is truly stupid and ignorant.

    • your para 1: agree, with the exception that this time, there are fewer idiots in the media, swallowing the propaganda generated by the VIO, than there were in GWB’s reign.

      your para. 2: agree. Unbelievable, but not surprising given the gravitational pull the EPA and similar organizations have on those (idiots) with leftist leanings.

    • I’d say that from the Venezuelan perspective, nothing will change. A leftist government with profound hatred and mistrust to Americans and their lifestyle, doesn’t care to have a good relationship with the American Government and their people. Being Romney president or Obama President.

      Why? Basically the left platform in Venezuela is built under the notion, that all the tragedy and poverty of the Venezuelan people, happened because the American government and the American people stole their money. With that strategy, Chavez had managed to successfully keep the office. So why would Chavez change his politics towards USA?

      Besides, Obama didn’t do anything to improve the relationship with Caracas, and it was for lack of trying. I mean we don’t have a consulate in Miami and we don’t have an american ambassador in Caracas. I think Obama were more busy dealing with the economical situation in the US, and the war in two fronts. So I don’t really blame him at all.

      If the Americans were to give us a favor, they would make sure to create a way to obtain a clean, cheap and massive source of energy, thus rendering the oil & gas business obsolete and unnecessary.

      That would end the dark age of mediocre politicians taking control of the oil revenue, with their failed and recycled politics, that destroys any chance to build a decent country.

    • Having dealt with the EPA, let me just say that intelligence has never been their strong suit nor a quality they seek in their recruiting. Literally, institutional ideological rigidity is of far greater importance. Unfortunately the power the agency wields is such that they tend to get away with all sorts of things that are not only in bad taste, but also bad practice.

      This sort of silliness comes as no surprise whatsoever.

  7. I do guess that they have to gain the Cuban vote, as they have completely lost the other Latin vote…

    Romney for one said that he would (can he?, better than Obama?) reform the Immigration and Naturalization Service. That he would make it so it does not take a lawyer or two to navigate it legally. Fat chance.

    To me it’s Republicans trying to rescue something from the debacle that their (severely retarded) nativist approach caused. Though a rational immigration and naturalization system is years away from being reachable in the the U.S.A., The Republicans have to lose a couple more elections before they ALL get the urgent memo: that fostering prejudice against, alienating and angering a significant demographic is a way to lose elections forever, once a sufficient number get to vote.

    As for the part about Obama being a free spending “Socialist” I don’t think Romney is much (or any) better in that respect. Would spend, or rather waste, as much or more money in “security” and “defense”. At least there would be a chance, both candidates really being big government, that Obama administrations spends some of the budget on infrastructure, research and education, on something that isn’t designed to blow itself up or blow things up.

    • Agree, it has always amazed me people who attack food stamps (or the department of education for that matter) and are blind to the sight of defense spending or “choosing winner” in their favorite insustries, like oil and coal…

      • The dependence and parasitism of somebody unemployed and down and out on their luck is solvable because… most of the affected want above all to solve it, and some will perform feats of willpower and sacrifice to achieve independence…

        But the dependence and parasitism of the rich and connected… they enter it voluntarily, most don’t want independence, freedom or risk, and some will perform feats of manipulation and corruption to avoid independence…

    • Could we really say a society is healthy where
      – 97 % of blacks vote for Obama and about half of them admittedly and blindly vote for him only BECAUSE he is black and have no idea nor any interest what his agenda is about?
      – a large % of the other half votes for Obama because of freebees a la the Obamaphone lady who SADLY is not the exception, except for her particular idiotic behavior?
      – we cannot enforce our laws regarding ILLEGALS because if a politician says so, he / she will lose the election?
      – thousands of people, most of them black (identifiable because of their ebonics writing style) tweet that they will riot, if Romney wins and that the evil Republican e.g. takes “THEIR” food stamps away?
      – Al Gore and Bill Clinton blame Global Warming as the cause for Hurricane Sandy and a sign of “things” to come, when storms hitting NJ is a rather frequent event in history ( and latest data indicate that there hasn’t been any Global Warming for the last 14 years or so?
      – ETC

  8. If a plastic shopping bag were elected president of the US Chavez would denounce the evil plots hatched by said shopping bag. Point is, it really doesn’t matter who’s in the White House, the US still gets touted as the main threat to the revolution.

    It’s interesting to note how many American expats in Latin America distrust Obama, though. I can’t vote in the US so it’s just another day for me, but I know quite a few gringos who seem to think he’s somehow in cahoots with Chavez, Castro and Lenin’s ghost. Like a tropical Tea Party of sorts, it’s really unusual.

  9. Well, after 14 years we ought to admit the facts: Chavez is not stupid. So what he clearly meant to do by such “inocent” comment, was ride in the Obama popularity wave amongst his supporters (or any left-leaning individual) AND to give ammo to the republicans for claiming Obama is the devil. It’s an obvious win-win for him (Chavez that is… he clearly have no interest or investment on the american election, unless it’s link to his own benefit).
    I wish tho that the smart people that reads and writes and comments on this blog, instead of wasting so much time in futile discussions bashing Obama and tea party lovers alike (let’s face it: we dont vote in the US, so it doesnt really matter what we think on this)… would focus in some actually interesting discussion:

    – Had Barack Obama been born in Barlovento, would have he voted for Chavez? and even more, could there be any remote possibility of a Barack Obama born in Barlovento?

    Whatever you feel about red and blue politics in the US, we have to admit that he’s one impressive individual and we would consider ourselves lucky to have such formidable choices of president.

    • Bravo, Virginia, for stating the obvious and no-so obvious.

      First, that it doesn’t matter what those who don’t vote in any particular system have to say about that system. Their comments are irrelevant. Period.

      Second, I, too, was thinking about that Barlovento-Obama connection. For me, Chávez made a racist jab at Obama, placing the US president in Barlovento just because Obama is Black. This apparent racism could be the result of Chávez’ *hurt* following four years of unrequited love for Obama, a love which had it been fulfilled, could have provided Chávez with leadership legitimacy on a broader global platform.

      Deep down, and in spite of all his protestations to the contrary, Chávez is one hell of a racist. His racism has come through in earlier disgusting comments about Condi Rice. It has also come through in Chávez’ periodic banter with Aristóbulo.

      And yes, Venezuela should be so lucky to have a systematic political transition of well-seasoned and well-educated politicians, who are subject to plenty of checks and balances in the background.

      • P.S. As to your question: Could there be any remote possibility of a Barack Obama born in Barlovento? …

        Yes and no. In the yes camp, I’d say that Baraco de Barlovento might have a chance if his mother pushed him to excel academically, and if law (as the preferred line of defense for a politician) became his profession. In the no camp, I’d say that there is still some subtle prejudice in Venezuela, particularly outside the major cities.

  10. bottom line: unless you are an American citizen registered to vote, you have no say. It’s like PSF’s opining about Venezuela. Kepler, Syd and everyone else who does not live in the U.S. and has never lived in the U.S., please shut the fuck up. You guys have no idea.

    • “unless you are an American citizen registered to vote, you have no say.” absolutely. that’s why comments from US citizens who aren’t registered to vote in Vzla, should keep their mouths shut, or fingers from tapping as they display feigned interest.

      Could you point to an example of where I’ve opined, with no equivocation, on the US electoral process? Thanks in advance. Otherwise, parachutists on this board should keep their mouths shut.

  11. one more thing: having seen the rise of Venezuelans in South Florida over the past ten years, they contribute nothing except money to our society, They are the worst immigrant group. Sure there are exceptions but Venezuelans in South Florida are pathetic for the most part. Venezuelans who move up here and get on with their lives, meaning they accept this country and make an effort to integrate are again the exception but we have plenty of your riff raff up here and don’t need no more.

    • It’s a kinda fun experience to see a bigot carrying on, about and against my own nationality… I am more amused than offended, really, and I don’t know why. It must be because I don’t live in Florida.

  12. Venezuelans are the laughing stock in Miami. From law enforcement to business owners, everyone has a ‘Venezuelan’ story. Venezuela’s biggest contribution to South Florida (besides money)? The tequeno which now appears in every cafeteria in town.

    • This, apparently, is a true story.
      After the MIami policeman pulled the Venezuelan driver and called him a Cuban, the indignant Venezuelan corrected the officer, whereupon the policeman answered: “same sh*t”.

      Manolo, darlin’. Are you Cuban?

    • Dude, well taken points on why the [email protected] Venezuelans would spend so much time debating an election we don’t participate in (tho it’s kind of a fascinating process in general, and it never hurts to be educated on what’s happening in other countries).
      But, do you mind if I ask why would you bother on coming here and insulting all of us (or the south Floridan kind… which is an apparently nastier strain) when you clearly have no interest on what’s happening in our country? At least the opinionated folks in this board have cared to provide arguments and illustrate their positions (as misplaced as those may be).

  13. The best strategy against Chavez is to discard him as a fool (the way Obama has. BTW, worth mentioning that: I am not an Obama supporter. I voted for Gary Johnson). Venezuela is on the road to absolute economic collapse. When Oil prices fall, as they will, Chavez will be under a lot of pressure. It is best to avoid giving Chavez any material that he could later use to further turn the US into a scapegoat. Although, I doubt that this ad could do any major harm.

  14. Well, after all was said and done Obama obviously won in Miami-Dade, how effective was this ad with Venezuelan-Americans and other South and Central Americans eligible to vote?.

    “The “offensive” Romney ad may have backfired when it came to Venezuelan voters, Bendixen said.

    Venezuelans, a fast-growing group, backed Obama over Romney 76-24 percent, which tracked the overall results for South Americans, who accounted for just under a quarter of the Hispanic voters interviewed. Central-Americans supported Obama over Romney 74-26.”

    and among Cubans? well Romney got less votes among Cuban-Americans than McCain did, barely winning the vote 52-48.

    All this in the context of massive ad-spending. Romney outspent Obama in South Florida, and I personally thought ran good ads (outside of this desperation one).

    Read more here:

  15. Once we allow so many Hispanics into the US, I predict our plurality will diminish, decreasing the full range of democracy.We will become just another Latin American country that has only one idea: Center Left.To me a country without the strength of strongly respected and opposing views , cannot have a real democracy.In this kind of scenario you will see one major trend( center left) with a few people on the right that are looked down upon and called ” fringe”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here